Thermal Alarm System Ensures Children’s Safety at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport
Check in areas at airports might not seem like a dangerous place, but they are more dangerous than one might think. Each year there are several accidents worldwide where someone, usually a young child, escapes the attention of their parents and sneak through the rubber flaps into the baggage belt conveyor system. Apart from frightening the child the many moving parts and conveyor belts in the baggage distribution system can cause serious injuries. That is why the Sabiha Gökçen Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, has installed a thermal imaging safety system that shuts down the conveyor belts the moment anyone enters the baggage handling area.
The safety system consists of four FLIR A310 thermal imaging cameras, each covering two conveyor belts leading from the check in area to the baggage handling system. For each thermal imaging camera four regions of interest (ROI’s) are defined. A temperature threshold is determined at around 31 °C. For the alarm to go off, however, it is not enough for a small part of the ROI to reach a temperature above the threshold. Over a certain percentage (about 20%) of the area in the thermal image that is defined as a ROI needs to be above the threshold for the alarm to go off.
When an alarm goes off the thermal image is instantly displayed in the control room and it is also automatically emailed to airport officials. This enables them to quickly determine whether it is a person or a piece of baggage triggering the alarm. “If it is a child we can swiftly intervene and bring the child to safety", explains Kaan Türkmen, who is responsible for the airport’s baggage handling system. "If there is a false alarm, caused by an exceptionally warm piece of baggage, we can get the conveyor belts running again in no-time. So even if there might be an unwanted alarm the delay will be quite minimal.”